A curriculum on medical ignorance

M. H. WITTE, A. KERWIN, C. L. WITTE, A. SCADRON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Summary. The information and technology explosions in medicine have exposed the vast realm of ignorance in human biology as well as the transiency of accepted knowledge and shortcomings of instructional methods which foster rote memorization, excessive reliance on conflicting data bases, and short‐answer testing. To circumvent this serious deficiency in medical education, we have initiated a multifaceted Curriculum on Medical Ignorance consisting of ‘questioning’ seminars and hands‐on clinical and laboratory experiences. This teaching programme not only emphasizes medicine's current deficiencies and limited insight into disease processes (i.e. ignorance) but also assists students in developing attitudes and behaviours to investigate basic biologic and clinical unknowns while rendering sound everyday clinical decisions in the face of fragmentary understanding. Based on evaluative feedback over the past 3 years, participants have made substantial progress towards recognizing and dealing constructively with medical ignorance and the limitations of ‘knowledge of the day’, thereby preparing them for the certain uncertainty of future medical practice. 1989 Blackwell Publishing

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Education
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1989

Keywords

  • *curriculum
  • *education, medical, undergraduate
  • Arizona
  • biology/*educ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A curriculum on medical ignorance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this